“If God were your Father, you would love me, forI came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.He was a murderer from the beginning, andhas nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is thatyou are not of God.” – John 8:42-47
It’s a common joke in American politics, that all politicians lie. It might even be true, in that most people are given to stretching or modifying the truth from time to time. But that is not what I think we mean when we talk about lying politicians. I think we mean that they are deceitful, they will say anything to anybody to get a vote and then use their elected power to enrich themselves and advance their own agendas … which may have had nothing at all to do with their campaign.
This must, must, must be disconcerting to the Christian. Jesus, here in John 8, did not say “you have told some fibs over there, because, well, people stretch the truth from time to time.” No, his words for the pharisees were harsh. “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do you father’s desires.” This is particularly striking. First, he calls them children of the devil himself, and then declares that their will, the thing that motivates them, is to follow their father.
“He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.” A murderer – from the beginning! No truth in him!
“When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” What is inside, what is the nature of your character, these are the things you will speak. Jesus said the same in another place (again to the Pharisees): “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matt 12:34)
These are not “winking at sin” type quotes. These are direct and forceful declarations about the nature of the inward character and its implications for words and deeds of man. The people who lie continually are known by their fruits. The people who, like politicians, will lie to you to get you to surrender your authority to them (i.e., vote for them so they will have the power of representing you), are not to be trusted.
No more laughing it off. Whey they lie and lie and lie, we ought not vote for them again. When they do nothing but enrich themselves, while laying heavy burdens on us, we ought not vote for them again. Turnover amongst the ranks of the lying elite … this is a recipe for change.
Let us carry this with us into the 2012 election cycle and beyond. No more voting for the children of lies.